Brazil overtakes U.S. as most competitive soybean shipper

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Brazil overtakes U.S. as most competitive soybean shipper

SAO PAULO Brazil, the world's biggest soybeans supplier, has overtaken rival United States as the most competitive shipper of oilseed to top importer China, the head of rail company Rumo said on Thursday.

In the first half of this year, the cost to ship soy to China was less than that of the United States, according to Rumo Chief Executive Joao de Abreu.

Brazil has become more competitive than the United States to move agricultural products to their destinations, he said at an event in S o Paulo. Abreu said the country cannot stop investing to keep its competitive edge, despite plans to add more logistics capacity there soon.

He said the state only has 300 kilometers 186 miles of railroads and that it is going to start building a railroad serving the north of Mato Grosso.

Rumo hopes to add more than 700 km there, connecting farmers in remote parts of the state.

Brazil has made progress improving its national infrastructure in recent years, even though most of its cargo is still moving by trucks.

Brazil took advantage of its abundant Amazonian waterways to ship grains through northern ports, an operation that involves the use of barges.

It became a competitive alternative compared to relying solely on southern ports like Santos and Paranagua.

For example, U.S. based Cargill operates two transshipment hubs in the north, one in Miritituba on the Tapajos River and another in Porto Velho on the Madeira River.

Brazil is among the leaders in productivity, but now also in logistics, according to Abreu. He said that overtaking the United States is very important and has a lot to do with hefty investments in recent years.